Politics, ethno-religious conflicts and democratic consolidation in Nigeria
This article examines the explosion of violent ethno-religious and communal conflicts in Nigeria, contrary to the widespread expectation that the inauguration of the civilian administration would usher in democratic stability. The nature of the politics of the transition programme and the reluctance of the post-military regime to address the national question have led to the resurgence of social groups that make demands for incorporation and empowerment. The central argument is that unbridled competition for power, and the failure of government to deliver democratic dividends, have resulted in violent conflicts, especially between ethnic and religious groups, endangering the country's nascent democracy. Good governance, especially accountability, transparency and equity, would restore governmental legitimacy, inter-ethnic and religious harmony and promote democratic consolidation.